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Christmas Happenings!

Christmas Greetings to all my faithful readers, and to dear visitors who happen upon my blog.

Praying the Lord is blessing your Advent season with the joy of His presence and a renewed wonder in our Great God who came to earth as a lowly infant, born in a manger, our precious Lord and Savior.

This year, I have been struck anew with wonder at the incarnation of God; a Love that came down to Earth to be near His people in order to save them from their sins.  God emptied Himself of all His Diety so that He could draw men to Himself and experience the same weaknesses we do.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. 
Hebrews 4:15

My new found empty nest has provided sweet blessings of solitude as I ponder anew what God did for me that Christmas morning so long ago.  How He provided a way so that I could be forgiven of my sins, and satisfied MY penalty from a just God through His death on the cross which punishment He took in MY place so that I could be set free and receive the gift of Eternal Life.

I have always had an understanding of God incarnate, but Timothy Keller's Book, Hidden Christmas, has brought a whole new amazement to me regarding the enormity of my Heavenly Father taking on human form for me!

I am only a little more than halfway through Hidden Christmas, but I highly recommend it for your Advent Reading list.  It will bless you beyond measure, and renew your awe and wonder for all that Christmas means.

Hidden Christmas can be found at Amazon.  Just follow the link.

I have also been enjoying spending quiet time in my house, listening to Pandora's Christmas Canon Radio; a station that plays all instrumental Christmas hymns.  It's the perfect backdrop for enjoying my tree and decorations, and for counting my many blessings.

This Christmas season has brought with it a calendar filled with fun and fellowship.

This past weekend my husband and I were blessed to attend my sister-in-law's surprise birthday party back home in New Jersey.  It was so wonderful to be around family.  Oh, and she was totally surprised!

This weekend, coming up, one of my best friends and her husband are coming over for dinner.  My husband is making his famous lasagna and I, of course, am making cake because my friend and I LIVE for cake!!  True story!  ;-)

Then on Sunday, my daughter-in-law is hosting a cookie exchange.  She gives out prizes for the tastiest and prettiest.  I won the prettiest a few years back.  :-)  This year my contribution will be chocolate crinkle cookies.  I have never made them before, but the reviews are quite good.  This year's attire theme, Lularoe!  About a month ago, Leanne had hosted a Lularoe party which everyone attended.  We will all be extra comfy as the Lularoe material is super soft!

Christmas Eve day morning my parents will be coming up from New Jersey.  My newly decorated guest room {reveal post coming in January} will be all ready for them.  Christmas Eve day afternoon and early evening my husband and I will celebrate Christmas together with my parents, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.  My husband will make his amazing roast chicken and stuffing, and we will enjoy all the traditional fixings.

Christmas Day, my daughter and son-in-law will be opening up their new house for both of our families to enjoy.  My son and daughter-in-law will be there as well as my parents.   It should be a very special time.

Anddd...  I am so excited for Christmas this year, to see it through the eyes of a two year old.

I am looking forward to attending our church's Christmas morning service as this will be the first Christmas we have attended there.   It will be so nice to sing those timeless Christmas Hymns with kindred believers and to be fully present in awe and wonder at the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I couldn't think of a more perfect way to start Christmas Day.

I hope you all are enjoying the blessings of Advent and experiencing a renewed closeness to our precious Savior.   I would love to hear how you have been spending your Advent and about your Christmas plans.  Please share in the comments below.

I will be taking a short blogging break to enjoy Christmas week, but will return with all new posts in January.

Merry Christmas!!

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Charles Wesley

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  1. Oh, how wonderful! It sounds like you are having a wonderful Christmas season! I am so thankful to hear that. Ours has been wonderfully blessed, also, in spite of all of us being very sick. Would appreciate your prayers if we come to mind. :) We enjoyed a wonderful dessert and Christmas program at church event, and a live play of A Charlie Brown Christmas that was just amazing, and also our hometown Christmas parade. SO thankful our dear Jesus was willing to condescend and come down to be one of us in order to be our Savior. Oh, I do love Him! More with each passing day and each Christmas that love just seems to multiply and be renewed. Sending you much love and many hugs, dear friend. Enjoy your time with your dear parents and family. :)

    1. Cheryl, Thank you so much for sharing in our joy. :-)

      I am so very happy to hear that you and your family have been wonderfully blessed despite being sick. (I will certainly be lifting you all up in prayer.)

      The live play of a Charlie Brown Christmas sounds like fun!

      Indeed! Your love for Him shows forth in everything you say and do sweet friend. Oh what a blessing you are to me this Christmas and always.

      Thank you! Same to you. :-l)

  2. That's great you're finding ways to still have joy in your empty nest. I hope I can do that too some day. It sounds like you are going to have a lovely Christmas with your family. We are also going to experience our first Christmas service at our new church.

    1. Brenda, Thank you. I was just thinking last night how gracious the Lord has been to make my transition to empty nest go quickly and fairly easily.

      That will be so nice for you and your family as well. :-)

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Your visit has blessed me. :-)

  3. Karen, I loved reading this and thinking about you and your family--your plans sound wonderful! I am excited to see the room that you decorated; I know that it must be lovely--and the love that you poured into decorating it will make it a place of peace and rest.

    I miss you and your dear face and seeing you in person . . . your card was so beautiful! I loved the sweet English Robin--it keeps coming to my mind!

    I love you and pray that you have a blessed, blessed Christmas in Him.

    Much love,

    1. Bekki, Awe. You are so sweet!

      I miss you too! I'm glad you found blessing in the Christmas card. I could crawl into them and live there! :-)

      Sendiing much love and blessings to you and your family! Say hi to everyone for me.

      Happy Christmas!

  4. Karen, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and your pictures are so lovely and peaceful. Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas and enjoy your family! I was just wondering where in NJ your family lives. We lived in NJ in several places over a period of about 18 yrs.

    1. Gayl, I'm so glad!

      You too!

      We are from Northern New Jersey. My parents live in Denville; my brother lives in Wharton, my other brother lives in Somerset, and my nana lived in Boonton. My mother-in-law lives in Kenvil.

      Maybe you've lived in one of those places too! :-)

      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Blessing on your family... and on your journey to know the power and peace of Christ!

    1. Karen, Thank you so much! I appreciate your visit. :-)

  6. Oh, it sounds like Jesus has been blessing you in your new season of empty-nesting, and in these days of family celebrations as well! I am thankful that He brings new ways of loving our families through each changing season! Merry Christmas to you!

    1. Bettie, Thank you for rejoicing with me as I navigate through this new and different season of my life.


      Thank you for stopping by. Merry Christmas!

  7. I've heard good things about Tim Keller's book. Thanks for weighing in on it here -- and I love that Charles Wesley carol. It never grows old!

    1. Michelle, Yes, I first heard about through another blogger, and I'm so glad I did! It is definitely one of my all time favorite edifying books!


      Thanks so much for stopping by. Merry Christmas!

  8. Wow, the empty nest phase. Not quite there yet. My youngest is 11, so I'm knee deep in the tween and teen phase!

    We make chocolate crinkle cookies year round here - love them!!

    Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays.

    1. Brandi, Enjoy! It goes by so fast!

      It seems to be a favorite cookie recipe of many. :-)

      You are very welcome!

  9. Sounds like wonderful Christmas plans. May you be richly blessed!

    1. Carol, We were indeed!

      I hope your Christmas was just as blessed. :-)

  10. Hi Karen, it was so fun reading about all you're anticipating this Christmas. It makes me excited too!
    I pray that you will have a wonderful time celebrating Jesus' birth. May your New Year be filled with peace and blessings.
    Marva | SunSparkleShine

    1. Sun Sparkle Shine (love this!)

      I'm glad you enjoyed this post!

      We did indeed! Thank you so much!

      I hope your Christmas was just as blessed! And many blessings to you for the New Year. :-)


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